This research investigates the microbial and physicochemical characteristics of five local hand dug wells used for drinking and agricultural activities in Blama, Small-Bo Chiefdom, in the Kenema District, Eastern Province of Sierra Leone. These five local hand-dug wells were randomly selected based on the availability of water in them throughout the year. The physical characteristics examined are: pH, turbidity, conductivity, temperature, total dissolve solid (TDS); and the chemical characteristics, such as: Residual chlorine (R. Chorine), magnesium, potassium, nitrite, iron, fluoride, ammonia, copper; and the microbial characteristics include: Total coliforms, fecal coliform and non-fecal coliform. Samples were collected in 500 ml sterilized plastic containers and transported to the laboratory, within 30 min. The results analysed indicate that the physical and chemical characteristic are within the WHO guideline limits for safe drinking water. However, a large amount of non-Faecal coliform was recorded in all the water samples analysed which exceed the World Health Organization standard for non-faecal coliform ((<10), and with no presence of residual chlorine. It can therefore be concluded that the water sample analyzed was potable and fit for drinking and agricultural activities.
Key words: Hand-dug, well, local, safe and sample.
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